Forever in her heart. Peta Murgatroyd’s father, Derek Murgatroyd, has died. He was 81.
“To The Greatest Dad, my teddy bear. This is the end of our ride earth side,” the Dancing With the Stars pro, 36, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, December 29, confirming her father’s death. “Oh how I wish we could take this boat trip again. In the next life we will.”
Alongside her caption, Peta shared a throwback photo of the father-daughter duo exchanging a glance during a sailboat ride. A second snap showed the pro dancer holding her father’s hand in the hospital.
“I know though that you will continue to ride with me until I see you again. I hope I made you proud these 36 years,” the Peta Jane Beauty founder continued. “You were my everything and I will miss you until my days here are done. I will hold the warmth of your hand in my heart forever.”
She concluded: “Always your ‘darling baby girl,’ as you would say. I love you until the 12th of never. Forever Daddy’s Girl.”
Shortly after Peta shared the emotional news, her fellow DWTS colleagues shared their condolences.
“Oh Peta I am so sorry for your loss. You have definitely made him proud. Sending you so much love ❤️,” Alan Bersten wrote via Instagram comment on Thursday.
The New Zealand native’s sister-in-law and fellow DWTS star, Jenna Johnson, also sent her prayers. “Will never forget our jazz club night with him. Pure joy and happiness. ♥️,” replied the 28-year-old pregnant Utah native, who is married to Peta’s husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s younger brother Val Chmerkovskiy.
The Burn the Floor alum wed Maksim, now 42, in July 2017, six months after welcoming son Shai, now 5. While the married couple love doting on their son, they’ve been candid about their fertility struggles in their attempts to expand their brood. (Peta has suffered three miscarriages since 2020 and has experienced several failed in vitro fertilization cycles.)
“It’s traumatizing, and [Maks is] the one that’s closest to me,” the choreographer exclusively told Us Weekly in July. “So, he goes through it as much as I go through it, so to speak. It did bring us closer together. When you go through something like that, it’s just an ultimate bonding session. … When you come to those crossroads and those big decisions, making them together and moving forward together as a family unit is so important, and I feel like we did that.”
As Peta started her own brood, she always remained close to her parents. “I love you Dad! This father-daughter time was amazing and I feel completely rejuvenated having you here with me,” she captioned a Father’s Day tribute via Instagram in June 2018. “Today is yours and I love you immensely.”